17, August 2017

1.Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden on IPRs

Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs).

  • The MoU establishes a wide ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights.

 Impact:

  • The MoU will enable India to exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, investors and businesses on both sides.
  • The exchange of best practices between the two countries will lead to improved protection and awareness about India’s range of Intellectual creations which are as diverse as its-people.
  • It will be a landmark step forward in India’s journey towards becoming a major player in global Innovation and will further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016.

Features:

 A Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) with members from both sides will be formed to decide cooperation activities to be taken under the MoU in following areas:

  • Exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries;
  • Collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts, technical exchanges and outreach activities;
  • Exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP with the industry, universities, R & D organisations and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through participation in programs and events in the matter, organized singly or jointly by the Parties;
  • Exchange of information and best practices for disposal of applications for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights and Geographical Indications, as also the protection, enforcement and use of IP rights;
  • Cooperation in the development of automation and implementation of modernization projects, new documentation and information systems in IP and procedures for management of IP;
  • Cooperation to understand how Traditional Knowledge is protected; and the exchange of best practices, including traditional knowledge related databases and awareness raising of existing IP systems;
  • Exchange of information and best practices regarding Intellectual Property law infringements in the digital environment, especially regarding Copyright issues; and
  • Other cooperation activities as may he decided by the Parties with mutual understanding

7 Objectives of India’s new IPR Policy 2016

 The startup and IP law section of Indian constitution has always been disappointingly shallow. This seems to be an effort to fill the void plaguing the IP regime in India. All this was done under the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns.

The New IPR Policy 2016 is rather well thought and lays down following objectives-

  1. IPR Awareness: To create public awareness about the benefits of Intellectual property among all sections of society.
  2. Generation of IPRs: To stimulate the creation and growth of intellectual property by undertaking relevant measures.
  3. Legal and Legislative Framework: To have strong and effective laws with regard to IP rights, consistent with international obligations.
  4. Administration and Management: To modernise and strengthen IP administration.
  5. Commercialization of IPRs: To catalyse commercialization of IP rights.
  6. Enforcement and Adjudication: To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IP violations and to promote awareness and respect for IP rights.
  7. Human Capital Development: Capacity development by strengthening and expanding human resources, institutions for training, research and skill building in IP.

These objectives are sought to be achieved through detailed action points. The action by different Ministries/ Departments shall be monitored by DIPP which shall be the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in India.

 Cabinet approves National Intellectual Property Rights Policy

More: http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=145338

2.Cabinet approves creation of a single non-lapsable corpus fund for Secondary and Higher education

Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for creation of a non-lapsable pool in the Public Account for secondary and higher, education known as “Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh” (MUSK) into which all proceeds of “Secondary and Higher Education Cess” will be credited.

The funds arising from the MUSK would be utilized for schemes in the education sector which would be available for the benefit of students of secondary and higher education, all over the country.

In connection with the above fund, the Union Cabinet also accorded its approval to the following:

  • Administration and maintenance of the above pool by Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • Accruals from the Cess would be utilized in the ongoing schemes of Secondary and Higher Education. However, the Ministry of Human Resources Development can allocate funds for any future programme/scheme of secondary and higher education, based on the requirement, as per prescribed procedure,
  • In any financial year, the expenditure on ongoing schemes of the Department of School Education & Literacy and Department of Higher Education would be initially incurred from the gross budgetary support (GBS) and the expenditure would be financed from the MUSK only after the GBS is exhausted.
  • The MUSK would be maintained as a Reserve Fund in the non-interest bearing section of the Public Accounts of India.

Background:

  • During the 10th Plan, an education cess of 2% on all central taxes was imposed to make available additional resources    for    basic    education/elementary education to augment the existing budgetary resources.
  • A need was felt to give a similar fillip to the effort of the Central Government in universalizing access to secondary education and expanding the reach of the higher education sector.
  • Therefore, the Finance Minister, in his budget speech of 2007 proposed an additional cess of 1% on central taxes for secondary and higher education.
  • HRD Ministry sought the approval of the Department of Economic Affairs for revisiting the issue of creation of “Madhyamik and Uchchatar Shiksha Kosh” (MUSK) on 11th February, 2016. Department of Economic Affairs on 20th June, 2016 approved that this Ministry may move a draft Cabinet Note to seek the approval of the Cabinet for creation of. MUSK.

3.India signs Global Environment Facility (GEF) Grant Agreement with the World Bank for USD 24.64 Million for “Ecosystems Service Improvement Project”.

Source: PIB

Global Environment Facility (GEF) – World Bank

A Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank of USD 24.64 million for “Ecosystem Service Improvement Project” was signed.

The size of Project is USD 24.64 million which entirely will be financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund. The project’s duration is 05 years.

Objectives: Mission For Green India

  • The objective of the Project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Community Organisations to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands.

India Ecosystems Service Improvement Project

The development objective of the Ecosystem Services Improvement Project for India is to improve forest quality, land management and non-timber forest produce (NTFP) benefits for forest dependent communities in selected landscapes in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The proposed Global Environment Facility (GEF) project will be implemented in close coordination with Green India Mission (GIM) on three components:

  • Capacity building (training and technical assistance);
  • Enhancement of forest carbon stocks through forest quality improvement approaches and improved livelihoods for forest dependent communities (interventions); and
  • Reversal of land degradation on private land holdings and common property resource lands through development of models and capacity for scaling up of sustainable land management practices (interventions).

Objectives:

To improve the quality and productivity of the existing forests so as to ensure sustained flows of ecosystem services and carbon sequestration, and to ensure the sustainable harvesting and value addition of NTFP to provide economic benefits to forest dependent communities that promote conservation and improve ecological connectivity

Global Environment Facility

  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.
  • Since then, the GEF has provided over $17 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $88 billion in financing for more than 4000 projects in 170 countries.
  • Today, the GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.
  • A FINANCIAL MECHANISM for 5 major international environmental conventions: the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Organization

The GEF has a unique governing structure organized around an Assembly, the Council, the Secretariat, 18 Agencies, a Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) and the Evaluation Office. It serves as a financial mechanism for several environmental conventions.

 Source: https://www.thegef.org/about-us

 

4.MOUs signed for distribution of Energy Efficient appliances

Source: PIB

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the Ministry of Power, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) for distribution of energy efficient appliances under the flagship Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and appliances for All (UJALA) scheme.

  • According to the agreement, Oil Marketing Companies- IOCL, BPCL and HPCL will take up distribution of LED Bulbs, LED Tubelights and energy efficient Fans from select retail outlets across the country.

UJALA scheme:

The main objective of the scheme is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient equipment which reduce electricity bills and help preserve environment.

  • The scheme is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Union Ministry of Power.
  • The scheme will not only help reduce consumers their electricity bills but also contribute to the energy security of India.
  • The scheme is being monitored in a transparent manner through a national dashboard (delp.in).
  • The distribution of LED bulbs will happen through DISCOM offices, DISCOM bill collection centres, designated EESL kiosks, Weekly haat markets, etc.

5.Cabinet approves completion of balance works of North Koel Reservoir Project

Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval to the proposal to complete the balance works of the North Koel Reservoir Project in Jharkhand and Bihar at an estimated expenditure of Rs.1622.27 crore to be incurred during three financial years from the start of the project.

The Cabinet also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve.

Key facts:

  • North Koel river rises on Ranchi plateau and flows through Jharkhand. It joins the Sone a few miles north-west of Haidarnagar.
  • The North Koel, along with its tributaries, meanders through the northern part of Betla National Park.
  • The principal tributaries are the Auranga and the Amanat.

North Koel Reservoir Project:

  • The project is situated on North Koel river which is a tributary of Sone river finally joining the river Ganga. The North Koel Reservoir is located in the most backward tribal areas in Palamau and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand State.
  • The construction was originally started in the year 1972 and continued till 1993 when it was stopped by the Forest Department, Govt. of Bihar. Since then, the work on dam is at a standstill.
  • The project aims to provide irrigation to 111,521 hectares of land annually in the most backward and drought prone areas of Palamu & Garhwa districts in Jharkhand and Aurangabad & Gaya districts in Bihar.

6.Melbourne named ‘World’s Most Liveable City’

Source: Indian Express

Melbourne has been named ‘The World’s Most Liveable City’ for the seventh consecutive year by the annual Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index.

Key facts:

  • The EIU’s Liveability Ranking assesses living conditions in 140 cities across the globe by assigning a rating across five broad categories including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
  • The rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
  • No Indian city was ranked in the top ten or bottom ten in the most liveable city ranking.
  • As per the survey, the least liveable city was Damascus at 140th place.

Top five most liveable cities:

  • Melbourne
  • Vienna
  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Adelaide, Calgary.



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